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A Short Analysis of Yeats’s ‘The Second Coming’

A summary and analysis of one of W. B. Yeats’s most famous poems

‘The Second Coming’ is one of W. B. Yeats’s best-known poems, and its meaning has eluded many readers because of its oblique references and ambiguous images. What follows is a short summary and analysis of the poem. What does ‘the second coming’ refer to, and how does it fit with Yeats’s own beliefs?

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. Read the rest of this entry